Last Saturday, I went to my first Tellington Touch clinic - this is a form of therapuetic massage for animals developed by Linda Tellington-Jones. But it's so much more! If you click on the title of this post, it should link you directly to Linda-Tellington Jone's own website. There you can read about how it works in more precise detail.
The massage technique is light and gentle and slow, connecting to meridians and accu-pressure points all along the body. So it can be effective in relieving both physical and emotional tension. It's subtle and you have to work with calm, collected energy
which is a huge lesson for any type of training. Non-reactive, reassuring guidance for your animal.
We are very lucky to have an experienced TTouch practitioner here and this was her first island clinic. It had been on my "list" of things I want to learn and what a great fit with CT! We spent the morning learning about the various ways to hold and move our hands, how much pressure to use and which approaches might help with a variety of issues that the horse might be experiencing.
I noticed both people and horses drifting into meditative zen-like states!
There were about 8 horses. In the afternoon, Kathleen (our teacher) set up some ground work exercises, called TTeam. There was a maze on the ground made from poles and a kind of "wagon wheel" - poles radiating out in a circle with the ends meeting in the middle and resting on top of a large feed tub. She also had some foam noodles and a long pole.
Riders had to take the horse through these courses, stopping at various intersections. It was to both teach the horses emotional control and body awareness through some physio type exercises.
I really loved it and have practised a bit on all 3 donkeys. The responses have been very interesting ... from releases to kicking and all from very gentle pressure and slow moves. And actually it was Dorica, my sweet mini doing the kicking ... not what you'd expect! I'm not sure how to interpret the reactions yet but know I want to learn a lot more about TTouch!